Bear Hugs – Save Real Bears!

Meet the Bear Family

The early days of happiness: Three little cubs named Marja, Bozana and Uske were born in the forest. Their mother loved them. They were a family, always together beneath the trees, the moon and the summer sky. This was the life they were meant to experience. But unfortunately, there are people on this earth who can destroy a family without a second thought. And only with the help of heroes can healing begin….

Cubs Taken from the Forest: The cubs’ mother was shot repeatedly by poachers and her cubs were kidnapped. We will not break hearts with the graphic details of what happened to the cubs next, but fire, pliers and great thirst were used to train the cubs to “dance” for tourists for profit. (We do not share graphic photos as this is truly a form of emotional abuse to those who love animals.)

The unspeakable crimes against these bears went on for many years until two heroes came along. Pavel and Branka Pasco started the organization ARKA in 1995 and their first task was to rescue abused bears in their home country.

This is one of the cubs before rescue. At this point, they had grown to become full size bears. They lived in a garbage heap and slept under scrap metal. But today they are safe and we can help them and others.

 Rescuing the Cubs

“Among the millions of people who saw them on the streets, no one could help them,” ARKA Founder Pavel Pasco said. “While risking our own safety, we located all abused bears in Serbia. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, we initiated their confiscation.”

The plan was to place the bears in a secured area in a national park, but following the bombing of Serbia in 1999, a new regime came into power and declined to carry out the promise to return the bears to paradise. Therefore, the bears became permanent residents of the sanctuary that Pavel and his wife Branka created for them. The bears’ lives were finally good and peaceful again, until 2 years ago.

Loving the green grass and warm weather. Napping in the sun is a favorite passtime for the bears.

Two years ago, the ground at the sanctuary shook so violently that it destroyed walls, fencing and man-made dens at the sanctuary.

“The earthquake severely damaged our brick facilities for the bears and the cage structure,” Pavel explains.

After the quake, the three bears had been relegated to living in their small “sleeping quarters” and missed the feeling of digging and climbing and rolling in the grass. Worse yet, the government suddenly cut funds for the bear food by 70% – leaving the sanctuary in crisis.

In the autumn, Harmony Fund sent $5000 to repair the first bear enclosure for Bozana and we’re sending a bit of money for food, but more help is needed right away.

Repairing a broken wall on the first of three enclosures
Sanctuary founder Pavel brings corn husk bedding for Bozana in her cave
Bozana inspects the freshly fallen snow.
This is the first enclosure we repaired in the autumn. With your help, we can get the other two bears back to their natural areas right away!

What Happens Now

  • Funds must be raised for the other two damaged enclosures to be rebuilt for Marja and Uske. Our mission is to put them back in their natural enclosures by spring.
  • Food is needed for the bears. Apples, carrots, corn, apricots, zucchini, grapes, tomatoes, plums, watermelons and walnuts. The cost to feed each bear is about $15 per day.
Bozana says thank you for helping an old bear like her to feel comfy and happy in this world. We never want her to suffer again.

Breaking news!

We are in the early stages of attempting to orchestrate a rescue mission for 2 bears who have been held in captive neglect for 17 years.

Our emails are full of happiness. They only come out 1 or 2 times a months!